517. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1

2181. Subj: ME-UK Draft Res.

Caradon, in call on Goldberg November 11 am, said Brits have felt for past day or two that neither US nor Indian draft res likely to succeed in SC, not so much because of substance as because of circumstances in SC, allegiances and emotions of parties concerned, etc. Thus Brits have thought it best maintain independent position, commit UK to no text and leave way open for UK to come forward with helpful move or compromise.
Caradon then gave us copies of UK draft.2 Said had given text to no one else so far; planned to discuss it with Eban later in day, but not yet pass it to Arabs, though we would let them know he is working on possible compromise res. Said he would like Goldberg’s reaction to text but, even more important, advice on how UK best proceed, i.e., is this best time to bring forward such text in effort to reach agreement through some compromise.
As preliminary comment, Goldberg said US has no objection such effort by UK in principle. Stressed that acid test we apply to any proposed text is whether it is acceptable enough to both sides so that they would cooperate with UN rep. Goldberg said our preference would be to have no SC res rather than res to which one side objects and therefore refuses cooperate with UN rep.
Regarding Caradon’s other question, Goldberg noted we have not yet heard reply from King. Though we not optimistic King will succeed in securing favorable reaction from other Arab states to revised US [Page 1019] draft as worked out with King,3 we believe it essential to await word from King. Moreover, any move by UK before that effort comes to end would only undercut King’s efforts. Said we expect reply from King today, probably in pm, and would advise Caradon promptly of reply.
Turning to UK text, Goldberg said there are obvious points of difficulty from Israeli point of view. First would be wording of UK text regarding withdrawal. Noted we had pulled Israelis inch by agonizing inch to present wording US res and have been told it is Israeli Cabinet decision not to go any further. Noting Eban has insisted all discussions regarding texts be held only in New York, Goldberg said it our impression Eban staking political future on outcome negotiations regarding SC res and that he more forthcoming regarding withdrawal language than any member of Israeli Cabinet.
Second, Goldberg said, there would probably be even stronger reaction to wording of UK text dealing with frontiers (i.e. “right to live in peace within secure frontiers”). Said Eban clearly cannot tolerate language which is not within framework of envisaging established, recognized or agreed frontiers. Language in UK draft could mean return to armistice lines plus demilitarized zones. Noted Israelis had pressed us very hard to use “agreed frontiers” in our res but we had resisted and offered instead “secure and recognized boundaries.” Even this accepted reluctantly by Israelis and they will resist strongly going any further, as in UK draft. Pedersen interjected that, in any case, Arabs have not focused on or objected to “secure and recognized boundaries” in US res.
Third, Goldberg said Israelis will be most vigorous and unyielding regarding op para 3 of UK draft. Said GOI, while prepared accept language which does not say there should be direct negotiations, will not tolerate language which would leave UN rep latitude to make recommendations to SC for settlement (such as was done by Galo Plaza in Cyprus dispute). Goldberg added this also not his concept of how UN rep should operate. Caradon said UK res does not preclude direct negotiations. Goldberg agreed; but recalled how strongly Israelis had [Page 1020] pressed us to add phrase in our res such as “assisting parties in working out agreed solutions.” Possibility of changing op para 3 of UK draft to read “promote and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and agreed settlement” was raised. Goldberg said he thought Israelis would accept this and perhaps find it preferable to our res.
Fourth point to which Israelis might object was raised by Pedersen. He noted op para 1 of UK draft gives impression that it is action in accordance with principles listed there which will bring peace. Israelis will resist this strongly, for they insist upon wording which conveys concept that just and lasting peace includes or encompasses or embraces certain principles, is not the result of specific action under those principles.
Caradon said he understood points we had made, that he would present UK text to Eban, and ask him directly what sticking points would be. This is purpose in consulting Eban. After securing Eban’s reaction, Caradon said he will then have to decide how to go forward. Repeated belief that some new formulation is necessary in order to provide face-saving device on both sides. Thus, subject to assurance he not interfering with present US efforts, he would want to go forward very promptly. Noted he has authority circulate UK text and seek agreement on it. Also said UK not prepared permit SC failure without some further effort, that UK determined not to let SC just peter out. Also added that something like UK text is essential for UK’s own position, since under present instructions UK “could” vote for either Indian or US res. He said that his present thinking is to circulate UK text so that UK then in position it would not have to vote for either or both Indian and US reses.
Goldberg told Caradon his effort would interfere with our efforts if he went ahead, even to discuss UK text with Eban, before we receive a definitive reply from King. Caradon said he understood and would anxiously await word from us regarding King’s reply.
Just before meeting broke up, Pedersen sought clarification of UK instructions, asking whether Caradon’s comment UK “could” vote for either or both Indian and US reses meant UK instructed vote for both. Pedersen also asked what effect would be in deciding how to vote on Indian and US drafts, where one of parties officially states that it will refuse to cooperate with UN rep. Caradon said he not saying anything to anyone else about UK ability to vote for either text. Avoided clear answers on both questions. Following meeting, Hope stressed to MisOff that he had pushed Caradon very hard to lay all cards on table with Goldberg; hoped US understood that it absolutely essential Caradon soon proceed with consultations re UK text so that situation thereby created in which UK can avoid voting for Indian draft res.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated Priority to London. Received at 2121Z.
  2. The text of the British draft, transmitted in telegram 2178 from USUN, November 11, was largely similar to that of Security Council Resolution 242, adopted November 22 (Document 542), except that (1) the second preambular paragraph reads as follows: “Emphasizing the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every state in the area can live in security,” (2) the opening section of paragraph 1 reads as follows: “Affirms that in fulfillment of the above Charter principles a state of just and lasting peace in the Middle East should be achieved through action in accordance with the following principles:”, (3) sub-paragraph 1.ii (1.II) includes the phrase “within secure frontiers” rather than “within secure and recognized boundaries”, and (4) paragraph 3 includes the phrase “to promote and assist efforts” rather than “to promote agreement and assist efforts”. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN)
  3. Battle met with King Hussein on November 10 and told him the United States was prepared to make some revisions in paragraph 1 of the U.S. draft resolution, including the change of “withdrawal of armed forces from occupied territories” to “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from occupied territories”, if this would result in a clear signal from the King to the other Arabs and Indians that the new text was acceptable. Rifai, who was also present, immediately proposed more changes. Battle told the King later that day that there was “great disappointment at high levels” at the Jordanian response and that further discussions should take place in New York. (Telegram 67603 to USUN, November 10; ibid., POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN) That evening GoldbeRG suggested to the King simply adding the word “Israeli” in connection with withdrawal with no additional revisions. The King indicated that this would be satisfactory to him and that he would present it favorably to the UAR and other Arabs, but he appeared to be pessimistic about the prospects. (Telegram 2172 from USUN, November 11; ibid.)